EU Monitoring on Bulgaria, Romania 'Used for Political Purposes' - PES HeadBulgaria in EU | March 19, 2016, Saturday // 15:18| views
A large part of the EU's motivation to go on with the monitoring on justice system and anti-corruption efforts in Bulgaria and Romania are political, the Party of European Socialists (PES)'s leader has said.
In an interview with private national bTV broadcaster, Sergey Stanishev had cited enlargement fatigue back in the mid-2000s and opposition of some member states again accession of new countries among the factors which pushed Brussels to require a monitoring mechanism.
The introduction of CVM reports was one of the prerequisites for Bulgaria and Romania's accession into the EU in 2007. Both countries agreed that every year the European Commission would deliver reports on the state of their judicial systems and the fight against corruption.
With Bulgaria increasingly lagging behind Romania according to the latest report, and with tensions rising in the judiciary in the midst of a reform proposed by the current government, some MEPs (from both Bulgaria and other member states) have called the effectiveness of the report into question.
However, Prime Minister Boyko Borisov on Friday defended the mechanism noting that successes of Bulgaria in reforming the judiciary should be partly owned to EU monitoring. The same view was shared earlier this week by Commission officials.
For his part Stanishev, formerly Prime Minister (2005-2009) and leader of the Bulgarian Socialist Party (2000-2014), told bTV that Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) lacks "clear criteria" evaluating the respective country's progress.
He opined Bulgaria needs a strategy to address long-standing problems in the judiciary, and trust of citizens has to be won regardless of whether the CVM will remain in place.
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